Search & Read
The Gay King
Seeker: Dear James, in one of your videos you state that a jiva has no memories of past life. I have had experience of regression and have an insight into some of my lives. One was a gay king. Is this information stored in the causal body? My mother is still here but she is more or less not connected to her existence. She has stopped eating but does take fluids, but not much. Isvara in charge but I might say to give her a break and let her pass over.
James: No, the memories are not stored in the causal body. If they were, then they would be available full-time in subsequent births. They are stored in memory in the intellect, which is wiped clean when the subtle body transmigrates. Can you imagine how impossible it would be to live with all the memories of your previous lives? None of the information that is useful in this life is necessary in the next life. You get to start from scratch the next time – plus your karma, meaning basic tendencies, which are not memories. We call your basic tendency bundle your svadharma or your svabhava. Everything you need in the present and the future is at hand in the present because there is only the present, even though the mind thinks in terms of past and future. In fact there is no past or future life. Everything happens in the “now,” eternal consciousness. Time – coming and going – is not real.
It seems as if your mom was born many years ago and will continue on once her body dies, however. The Jiva – the “big” Jiva – is eternal, non-different from your Self. The jiva – the “personal” mom, the “little” jiva – is non-eternal. It appears and disappears in eternal existence/consciousness. What you love is the eternal Jiva, which is identical with the Self. But because the eternal Jiva is associated with a particular body, it seems to suffer. When the body, which is subject to destruction because it was created, is no longer useful for working out karma stops working it seems as if the eternal Jiva has gone somewhere. But it hasn’t. So what you love is always present as your Self. In fact it’s often easier to love loved ones once they are dead because the circumstances in which the body lives, their negative tendencies particularly, no longer distract one’s mind from the love, unless of course they do. So you can see them purely as they are. All your feelings – the attachment invoked by the loss of the love object’s body – are actually for one’s own non-eternal jiva’s sake, not the dead mom. There is no actually living or dead mom. What we think of as an actual mom is a “thought” mom even when “her” body is present. She seemingly becomes a “thought mom” when her body dies. Death itself is nothing, just a fleeting event. The process of dying is Isvara in action. In the Gita, Isvara says, “I am Time, destroyer of worlds,” meaning what is born dies. It is ongoing throughout one’s life. Life is the flipside of death. We appreciate the life side, the death side not so much, unless we are suffering. Wise people are happy to live and happy to die. They know that the whole process is out of their hands. Whatever controls this process is called God, or Isvara in our tradition.
So when you were a gay king you weren’t a gay king at all. You were only the Self, under the spell of ignorance, which is to say that you thought you were a gay king. Now you can see clearly that the gay king is only a thought, a memory. It has nothing to do with you. Time is a very strange and wonderful thing – impossible to figure out. Maybe it was useful to think of yourself as a gay king a long time ago – or not – but it certainly is not relevant to you insofar as you are a heterosexual housewife now. Apparently.